The Government has just published a document setting out the UK’s approach to the negotiations with the EU that may have put an end once and for all to the UK’s involvement in the Unitary Patents (UP) project. As noted not too long ago here, after the Brexit referendum vote, under both the May administration and the Johnson administration, the UK government has repeatedly expressed an intention to bring an end to the European Court of Justice (ECJ)’s jurisdiction.In a way, then, it cannot come as a major surprise that in the UK’s negotiating objectives – which have just been published – the Government has essentially reiterated that concept. Whilst a future relationship with the EU is envisaged that is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals, this is meant to be one where both parties respect one another’s legal autonomy, and the Government has explicitly stated that they “will not agree to any obligations for UK laws to be aligned with the EU’s, or for the EU’s institutions, including the ECJ, to have any jurisdiction in the UK.”
The EPO says they’d be ready to get going with Unitary Patents later this year. Has anyone else spotted the (Br)elephant in the room? According to a press release published by the European Patent Office (EPO) on 10th January 2020, the EPO president António Campinos and his team have recently met with the Chair of the EPO Unitary Patent (UP) Select Committee and members of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Preparatory Committee from the EU member states. The main item on the agenda for them was a discussion of the most recent developments concerning the implementation of UP and UPC (the so called Unitary Patent package, which we have talked about here).